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Activation energy Mon, Jan 07, 2019
I like snowboarding.  It's a good hobby to have during the cold winter months, and it provides a use for all that otherwise worthless snow.  Even on the coldest and wettest days, I have a great time.  And it counts as exercise. 

But at the same time, I consistently have trouble summoning the motivation to go snowboarding.  It takes a significant amount of activation energy.  The day typically starts by getting up early, packing all the gear into the car, driving an hour (or five for a nice mountain), pulling into an often crowded parking lot, getting suited up in 20- or 30-degree weather (if you're lucky), hobbling up to the chair lift where you wait in a line, then ascending the chair lift while the wind whistles through your goggles and you can feel the frozen seat on your butt cheeks.  This is all for a leisure-time activity. 

So when people invite me to go snowboarding, I think, "Ooh I like snowboarding, but oh yeah there's all that other stuff too." #psychology

College football playoffs Mon, Jan 07, 2019
I'm surprised by the current system of playoffs in Division 1 (FBS) college football.  FCS, or Division 1AA or whatever you feel like calling it, has a playoff system similar to the NFL, but with the addition of numeric rankings.  At the end of the season, the top 8 or 16 (can't remember) teams compete against each other in a bracket playoff system with the winner moving on to compete against the winner from the other side of the bracket.  The NFL essentially does the same thing, but they don't specifically rank teams by number.  Also, the NFL could never have an NFC vs. NFC or AFC vs. AFC Super Bowl by definition, unlike college football which kind of routinely has an SEC vs. SEC national championship. 

Anyway, the FBS playoff system, which was really just adopted a few years ago, sets up a bracket of the top four teams, which is really just an impromptu semifinal followed by a national championship game.  It's definitely more abbreviated than it needs to be, and there's discussion every year that they should expand the playoff to the top six or eight teams at least.  But I would say the more glaring issue is the fact that the final ranking of the season, i.e. the criteria that determines playoff eligibility, is still decided by a group of dudes (and famously, Condoleezza Rice for whatever reason).  It's a weird and completely unnecessary oligarchy that I'm assuming only still exists because of money or power or something.  All other major sports organizations have figured out a way to let teams determine their own future.  I appreciate when sports announcers tell the audience the exact series of events that will determine a team's playoff chances.  All the cards are on the table.  But FBS still comes down to some dude's opinion. #sports